First, it was a Facebook group. Much like "Pantsuit Nation" during the 2016 US presidential campaign, "Mulheres Unidas Contra Bolsonaro" gathered, in a matter of days, more than two million women against far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro (PSL).
But the reaction was as swift: "Mulheres Unidas" was hacked last Saturday (15th), and quickly restored the next day. By then, the counterattack from those opposing Bolsonaro came in the form of a hashtag, #EleNão (#NotHim), that quickly went viral.
Social media users used the hashtag in posts exposing reasons not to vote for the candidate, while carefully avoiding using his name by only writing he or him, and gathered voters from several parties and political inclinations.
Singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso, who is endorsing Ciro Gomes (PDT), has joined the movement. On Monday (17th), he wrote: "#EleNão #CoisoNão" (in English, #NotHim #NotTheThing).
According to administrators of "Mulheres Unidas Contra Bolsonaro", the hashtag originated and spread spontaneously, along with posts and comment threads in the Facebook group and went viral after the hacking.
"It's a legitimate way to show that strong-arming won't make us change our votes," said the group's founder Ludimilla Teixeira.
One supporter that caused surprise was TV presenter Rachel Sheherazade, who has a history of endorsing conservative issues and has been criticized by her followers for declaring she won't vote for Bolsonaro.
"My mother and grandmother raised me. We ate not criminals. We are HEROS! #EleNão," she wrote on Twitter.
Her tweet was a reaction to Hamilton Mourão (PRTB), Bolsonaro's running mate, who said who said on Monday that "households with only mothers and grandmothers were breeding grounds for misfit and drug dealers."
Translated by NATASHA MADOV
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